Jim Randolph

Jun 012015
 

Incorporate your highest standards and best practices into even the roughest of projects.  It’s good practice, it keeps your skills up and prevents falling into bad habits.  If it takes a little longer, it is time well-spent.  For example, I recently built a handrail on my outdoor deck project.

For the first 18 years of our home’s life we had no railing whatsoever on this deck. We like the open view. Recognizing the increasing danger of falling as we age, we decided we should at least have something to grab if we stumbled, yet still maintain the beautiful view.

For the first 18 years of our home’s life we had no railing whatsoever on our deck. We like the open view as seen here. Recognizing the increasing danger of falling as we age, we decided we should at least have something to grab onto if we stumbled, yet still maintain the beautiful view.

It certainly didn’t need to be fancy.  It needed to be splinter-free and strong in case anyone fell against it (it’s about 10 feet down at the high end and close to 20 at the low end.).  As I was working on this, I tried to get my half-laps as tight and flat as possible.  Sure, it makes for a better-looking end product, but it provides the practice to making good-looking joints, too.

Half-lap joints may usually be thought of as being the stuff of fence rails and hidden structural parts.  It just happened that Marc Spagnuolo published a mirror frame project video while I was working on these handrail half-laps, raising the half-lap to an art form.

This is a beautiful example of half-lap joint at its finest, by Marc Spagnuolo. permission granted

This is a beautiful example of a half-lap joint at its finest, by Marc Spagnuolo (permission granted for reprint)

A half-lap joint is a blowout waiting to happen, with the very high risk of missing chunks of wood existing on all four sides.  One must be careful to either provide a backer-board for each cut, or work toward the inside of the joint.  If the “lap” is too high or too low, the joint is ugly and sloppy-looking.  Ditto if the shoulders aren’t square.  But, it’s all about how much time and care one is willing to invest in a project to have it look as good as it can be.

When visitors lean against my handrail I want them to be able to marvel at the quality of the workmanship.  Even if no one ever came to see us, when I look at the rails I want to be able to be proud of them. The point is not whether I always achieved fine woodworking with my handrail project.  The point is that I strove for it and sought to do my best at every step along the way, keeping my standards high.


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

May 192015
 
You just thought I screamed when I saw the baby possum.
When I looked up and saw this snake skin in the un-likeliest of places, I immediately froze.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Our practice doesn’t include exotic animals, but I knew enough about snakes to know this one wasn’t alive. Still, I was instantly terrified. I knew, at some point, its live owner had been here and could still be lurking. Maybe even right here!

I couldn’t believe my eyes. Our practice doesn’t include exotic animals, but I knew enough about snakes to know this one wasn’t alive. Still, I was instantly terrified. I knew, at some point, its live owner had been here and could still be lurking. Maybe even right here!

Standing on a ladder, it reminded me of when I worked in microwave communications electronics.  Our teachers always told us, “It’s not the big voltage that will kill you.  You’ll be careful around it.  But the little voltage, if you let your guard down, will startle you, make you jump, and you’ll inadvertently throw yourself into a high voltage circuit.”  I could just picture myself seeing a real, live snake and falling off the ladder in response:
“What killed ol’ Jim?” asked one mourner.
“A nonpoisonous snake.”
In the March, 2015, issue of Wood News Online we published a tip designed to save you space while making the most of scraps of wood you want to save. The gist of the tip was to use the area between ceiling joists for storage.  By arranging materials appropriately, you can store anything from big-enough-to-fit to small-enough-to-sit-on-top-of-the-big-stuff.  Of course, there’s a practical limit to how small you really want those smallest pieces to be, yet, it’s ultimately a personal decision.
For example, I have some redwood that came from the sign that stood in front of our veterinary practice for 24 years, until Hurricane Katrina knocked it down.  I’ve made some projects out of that wood that are priceless to me.  Not everyone is sentimental, much less about wood, but I am, so I have saved some pretty small pieces of that redwood just in case I have some use for a tiny bit of it somewhere.
As you can see, some of these redwood pieces are really small, some are really rotten, but every scrap holds a memory, and stands a chance to be fitted into a project someday.

As you can see, some of these redwood pieces are really small, some are really rotten, but every scrap holds a memory, and stands a chance to be fitted into a project someday.

The 2x12 redwood boards that made the rails of our pre-Katrina Animal General Hospital sign were planed, sanded and glued up to make this simple, rustic headboard. The engraved phrase came from a Delta Airlines SkyMall catalogue advertising a needlework project. I wrote down the expression while on a flight to see our grandchildren, and kept it tacked to the shop wall for years before finding the right place to use it.

The 2×12 redwood boards that made the rails of our pre-Katrina Animal General Hospital sign were planed, sanded and glued up to make this simple, rustic headboard. The engraved phrase came from a Delta Airlines SkyMall catalogue advertising a needlework project. I wrote down the expression while on a flight to see our grandchildren, and kept it tacked to the shop wall for years before finding the right place to use it.

My Grandson Charlie’s stool was made from cutoffs of the same 2x12 redwood.

My Grandson Charlie’s stool was made from cutoffs of the same 2×12 redwood.

This sign hangs in the automobile-parking area of our garage, which shares space with the woodworking area. There’s a story that goes with the inscription underneath, but that’s another post.

This sign hangs in the automobile-parking area of our garage, which shares space with the woodworking area. There’s a story that goes with the inscription underneath, but that’s for another post.

Likewise, I have some oak tongue-in-groove flooring with an interesting backstory.  My wife bought some really cheap bedside tables from the “real wood” store, but she needed more top surface on hers.  The best I could come up with for short-term use was an old lauan panel I’d attached to some 2x4s with a picture-frame molding around it.  It was so ugly that Brenda covered it with a red cloth, awaiting a suitable and appropriate top for her “real wood” chest.
That task dwelt on my honey-do list for a long time until, one day, I got the idea to go to Lowe’s for some oak flooring.  I could just glue and nail it to a substrate, attach the top, and with a little sanding and some finish Brenda’s new table surface would be ready to reveal itself to the public.
At Lowe’s, I looked around, but I couldn’t find any oak flooring.  Third in line for the attention of the Lowe’s employee on duty in the hardwoods department, I waited, only to hear him say, “Oh, we don’t carry that.” “Oh, well,” I thought, I would just have to find out who does.  Then, I heard a sweet female voice behind me, saying: “Excuse me, sir.  I don’t mean to butt into your business, but I heard you asking about oak flooring.  I have some.  Does it have to be new?  My husband and I salvaged it from one Katrina-flooded house to use in another Katrina-flooded house.  If you would like to come by and look at it, just call me.  Here’s my address and my cell phone number.”
Now, this lady didn’t know me from Adam, yet she stood there with her little six-year-old daughter beside her, giving me her address and phone number, like it was 1946.  There is still a little trust and innocence in the world!
We met, she showed me the old floorboards, and I knew I had found a treasure trove.  “Take whatever you’d like, but we still need about this much,” she said, motioning to a small portion of the stack. Well, “stack” might be a little generous.  “Pick Up Sticks,” the child’s game, comes to mind when trying to describe the way the boards had been haphazardly thrown into the old garage.
I did some selecting as I went.  Some were curved along their length.  Many were twisted, and I do mean wickedly twisted.  Some were cupped.  Because these two homes were so close to the Bay St. Louis, MS, beach, they were probably underwater for days after Katrina’s winds were gone. Even the best pieces would require a good bit of milling. But, OH!  The character!  Worm holes, termite holes, nail holes!
This is what the oak flooring looked like before cleanup and milling.

This is what the oak flooring looked like before cleanup and milling.

Trying not to be greedy, I took about the square footage I thought I’d need for a big top for Brenda’s side of the bed and a small top for my side, plus about 50% for waste, plus about 15% for miscalculation. There were still a lot of boards left.
I could hardly contain my eagerness so I began to unload, sort, and stack as soon as I arrived home.  Decades of grit filled the grooves and clung to the tongues, so each piece needed to be steel-bristle-brushed by hand before machining.
As soon as the first board came from the planer, I knew I had some epic wood.
And, this is what those ugly boards turned into!

And, this is what those ugly boards turned into!

And a problem….
“How can I possibly put boards this beautiful atop a 1/4-inch-thick ‘real wood’ table?” I asked myself.  The obvious answer was, “I can’t, it would be an insult.”
Thus were born the oak bedside tables in the accompanying pictures. It took several forevers to cull enough boards for the top to make it reasonably flat and produce acceptable joints.  Grain-matching was out of the question, so I just tried to keep adjacent boards from clashing.
As you can see from the abundance of clamps, keeping this panel flat was a challenge. Stiff, square steel cauls helped. A glue with more open time would have helped, too.

As you can see from the abundance of clamps, keeping this panel flat was a challenge. Stiff, square steel cauls helped. A glue with more open time would have helped too.

As nice as it would have been to have solid wood for the sides, there just wasn’t enough material to make panels, but we are fortunate to have a good hardwood plywood dealer close by.  I didn’t think it would be possible to stain to match, so I just tried to coordinate.
When home center plywood just won’t do, it’s great to have a source for really good hardwood plywood. No voids, no patches, no blemishes.

When home center plywood just won’t do, it’s great to have a source for really good hardwood plywood. No voids, no patches, no blemishes.

To make the top appear thicker I glued up a 10-inch-wide panel from cutoffs, then cut four strips and glued them along each edge, with a full-width board across the front.
Alan Noel taught me his wool-waxing technique via email.  CLICK HERE to read Alan’s column on wool-waxing.  The technique is as simple as applying wax with 4/0 steel wool and yields a surface with unbelievable smoothness.
The project gets Brenda’s seal of approval.  Like me, she’s sentimental, and using wood with a story for these two tables makes them all the more valuable.
Brenda was pleased with the final result. A smaller, matching unit is on my side of the bed.

Brenda was pleased with the final result. A smaller, matching unit is on my side of the bed.

Oh, and the original “real wood” bedside tables?  They became rolling stands for our oscillating spindle sander and stationary mortising machine.  With drawers to hold accessories, they do a pretty good job.  I have mobile bases on every tool in the shop.
Not calling for heavy-duty function, these “real-wood” cabinets are up to the job of holding the oscillating spindle sander and stationary mortising machine.

Not calling for heavy-duty function, these “real-wood” cabinets are up to the job of holding the oscillating spindle sander and stationary mortising machine.

Thanks to the rigid portable bases that always fit because you determine the dimensions, they are very stable when in use, and just the right height.
As the backs of the units are several inches from the backs of the drawers, they just seemed to cry out for the space to be utilized for storage, so I attached some pegboard. I haven’t found a use for it yet, so I tell myself it stiffens the thin “real wood” carcass.

As the backs of the units are several inches from the backs of the drawers, they just seemed to cry out for the space to be utilized for storage, so I attached some pegboard. I haven’t found a use for it yet, so I tell myself it stiffens the thin “real wood” carcass.

And, the snake skin?  I had to use a pair of pliers to pull it down.  I couldn’t bring myself to touch it.  Trying to figure out how he got there with no ladder, I inquired of a colleague whose practice includes a lot of exotic animals.  From a closeup of the skin he said it was probably a rat snake; we have a lot of them around our house.  He also sent me a link to a video showing just what good climbers snakes can be.
 —
Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.
May 052015
 

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.” 

Here is an old glove trick straight from the surgical suite.  Back in the day, before latex, surgical gloves were resterilized and reused for subsequent surgeries.  To make regloving easier, talcum powder was added to the inside of the gloves.  Of course, eventually doctors noticed that powder caused a foreign-body reaction in their patients and became more careful, ensuring no powder got on the outside of the glove.   Surgical gloves are no longer “reusable,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t use that trick to make donning used gloves easier.

A little drying and some talcum powder and you can use those “disposable” gloves over and over. Just be careful not to mix dissimilar materials, like paint remover and finish.

A little drying and some talcum powder and you can use those “disposable” gloves over and over. Just be careful not to mix dissimilar materials, like paint remover and finish.

Purchase your shop its own bottle of talcum powder.  Using your wife’s powder will only make your life miserable.  Over time you’ll learn how little powder you can get by with and still get the gloves on easily.  Like those early surgeons, be careful not to get talcum on the outside of the glove where it might find its way into your finish.  The easiest technique is to put a pair on inside-out, apply the powder to the palm of the right glove and rub the back of the left, then alternate.  Pull both gloves off right-side-out and they are ready for the next use.


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

May 042015
 

Not everyone has a pickup truck.  Those who do will, sooner or later, pay the price of “temporary friends.”  That is, someone you barely know will call you up and say, “Hi, Joe, this is Fred, you know, I met you seven years ago at Susan’s party.  Susan?  Yeah, Susan.  Your second ex-wife’s girlfriend’s friend.  Well, anyway, you’ve got a pickup truck, and  my wife picked out a sofa that’s incredibly priced but the store charges $75 for deliveries, and…”

That’s just one reason I don’t have a pickup truck.

Still, those of us without trucks often have to carry something long or bulky.  And that item is likely to have to rest on your dashboard, upholstery or both.  For that reason I carry three bath towels in my van.

These are nice, thick towels to provide plenty of cushioning protection. When I need to carry a long board in my car I don’t want the dash scratched or treated-pine juice soaking into the upholstery. At the discount store they are only a few dollars each, but provide invaluable protection.

These are nice, thick towels to provide plenty of cushioning protection. When I need to carry a long board in my car I don’t want the dash scratched or treated-pine juice soaking into the upholstery. At the discount store they are only a few dollars each, but provide invaluable protection.

The cheapest bath towel at the dollar store works just fine.  Tuck them into out-of-the-way spaces like the spare tire well.

For my car, three towels are sufficient: dash, front seat, rear seat.

For my car, three towels are sufficient: dash, front seat, rear seat.

Not only will they cushion your load and protect your vehicle from scratches, they are terrific seat covers when you’re dirty or sweaty or both.

The only thing worse than being unable to clean the dirt out of your car’s upholstery is putting up with the sour smell because you sweated right down to the core of the driver’s seat. Protect the seat with one, or two or all three of your transport towels, depending on how sweaty you get.

The only thing worse than being unable to clean the dirt out of your car’s upholstery is putting up with the sour smell because you sweated right down to the core of the driver’s seat. Protect the seat with one, or two or all three of your transport towels, depending on how sweaty you get.


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

 

Mar 312015
 

No Southern-fried Southern boy wants to be called a Yankee, but we share the characteristics of shrewdness and thrift.  Thus, each month we include a money-saving tip.  It’s OK if you call me “cheap.” 

Useful are even the smallest pieces of PVC pipe you begged from the plumbers at the construction site up the street.  If you, like me, live where humidity is generated for distribution to the rest of the country, you try to do everything you can to keep the wetness out of your shop.

For example, I keep the doors and windows closed, except when the hygrometer tells me the humidity outside is near to or lower than the indoor humidity.

A high-capacity dehumidifier (lower left) combined with a ceiling fan (upper right) for circulation, centrally-placed among cast-iron power tools minimizes rust risk. As an added bonus, the brisk flow of dry air from the dehumidifier can air-dry wood in no time. The collection being dried in this photo consists of boscoyos, Cajun French for “cypress knees.”

A high-capacity dehumidifier (lower left) combined with a ceiling fan (upper right) for circulation, centrally-placed among cast-iron power tools minimizes rust risk. As an added bonus, the brisk flow of dry air from the dehumidifier can air-dry wood in no time. The collection being dried in this photo consists of boscoyos, Cajun French for “cypress knees.”

When the north wind brings in dry air, take advantage of the opportunity to air out the shop. Today is such a day.

When the north wind brings in dry air, take advantage of the opportunity to air out the shop. Today is such a day.

Sometimes you need to run a power cord or air hose outside, necessitating an incompletely-closed door or window.  Instead, you can drill a hole through the wall exactly the outside diameter of a piece of PVC pipe which has an inside diameter capable of allowing passage of your cord or hose.

When drilling your hole, make a test hole in scrap first to ensure the bit you choose will deliver a tight fit. Asking your wife before drilling through the wall is optional. Sometimes it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

When drilling your hole, make a test hole in scrap first to ensure the bit you choose will deliver a tight fit. Asking your wife before drilling through the wall is optional. Sometimes it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

Because I do a lot of sanding outdoors, and I like to have compressed air to blow away sanding dust from my project, I use this little passageway for the air hose, allowing the door to stay closed.

Although this wall is mostly protected from rain, I angled the hole down toward the outside so that any rainwater that comes this way can’t go indoors.

Although this wall is mostly protected from rain, I angled the hole down toward the outside so that any rainwater that comes this way can’t go indoors.

A 50-cent PVC cap keeps out Mr. No-Shoulders, as well as any other unwelcome visitors.

A 50-cent PVC cap keeps out Mr. No-Shoulders, as well as any other unwelcome visitors.

Mr. No-Shoulders, for those who have not yet made his acquaintance, or don’t know him by this name.

Mr. No-Shoulders, for those who have not yet made his acquaintance, or don’t know him by this name.

 


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

Mar 302015
 

 

Do you, like me, find it annoying when woodworkers find fault with this or that style clamp?

One of my favorite online woodworkers/podcasters recently said, “When I first started woodworking I bought a ton of C-clamps, mostly because they were cheap.  Now I wish I had that money back.  I never use them anymore.”

I respectfully disagree.  I find C-clamps to be exceedingly useful.  As you can see from the accompanying photo, I have a ton of them, in all sizes.

From 4" to 12" my C-clamps see a lot of action. A 12" C-clamp can apply so much pressure, it will open a coconut. Spread that pressure out with a caul and you have a clamp with a lot of reach combined with a lot of power.

From 4″ to 12″ my C-clamps see a lot of action. A 12″ C-clamp can apply so much pressure, it will open a coconut. Spread that pressure out with a caul and you have a clamp with a lot of reach combined with a lot of power.

Like most tools, there are situations where they are perfect, and situations where they are useless.

C-clamps can apply an amazing amount of pressure for minimal cost. Use a caul to prevent marring your work. There isn’t a clamp in my shop that could have done this job as well.

C-clamps can apply an amazing amount of pressure for minimal cost. Use a caul to prevent marring your work. There isn’t a clamp in my shop that could have done this job as well.

It is also not unusual to hear woodworkers putting down pipe clamps, but, they have their place and like my imported C-clamps, you can’t beat the price.  Some brands of pipe clamp heads, also called “jaws,” come with a nifty spiral spring-wire to protect the threads on the distal end, the end opposite the head.  While it’s not necessary to even have threads on that end, it is useful when joining two lengths of pipe together to make a really long clamp.

If the style of jaws you have doesn’t include that spring, you can inexpensively protect the threads with a threaded 3/4″ PVC cap.

It’s not terribly difficult to cross-thread the soft PVC on steel pipe. To make the cap easier to install and remove at a later date, wrap a layer or two of Teflon thread tape on first.

It’s not terribly difficult to cross-thread the soft PVC on steel pipe. To make the cap easier to install and remove at a later date, wrap a layer or two of Teflon thread tape on first.

 


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.

Mar 272015
 

It’s a PVC kind of month.  And, because PVC has three letters in it, we’re having three tips this month instead of the usual two.  The French call it “lagniappe.”

Did you know that the University of Southern Mississippi has one of the world’s leading programs in Polymer Science and Engineering?  Just up the road from us in Hattiesburg, MS.  Yes, I am digressing, yet where would we be today without PVC and the other polymer plastics we use in every aspect of everything we do all day, every day?

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymer Science and Engineering has world-class research facilities. The program even includes studying ways polymers can be used in pharmaceutical delivery in vivo. Yes, U.S.M. also has three letters.

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Polymer Science and Engineering has world-class research facilities. The program even includes studying ways polymers can be used in pharmaceutical delivery in vivo. Yes, U.S.M. also has three letters.

Short lengths of PVC pipe are inexpensive to purchase, and even cheaper if you ask a building site for their scraps.  If you keep a variety of diameters in two foot lengths, they make great storage for your projects’ drawer slides while you are sanding and finishing.  Because most related hardware comes pre-lubricated, any dust in the environment will be attracted to it and gum up the moving parts.  Get a couple of PVC caps at about a dollar each and your hardware is protected.  Let the caps sit in place with a friction fit (no glue) and you can work from either or both ends.

Free pipe and $2 worth of caps and your pre-lubricated drawer slides are protected from dust and trauma. OK, so it’s an ugly piece of pipe! Who cares? It’s free!

Free pipe and $2 worth of caps and your pre-lubricated drawer slides are protected from dust and trauma. OK, so it’s an ugly piece of pipe! Who cares? It’s free!

 


Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home. Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.